Word On The Street

“If we don’t act now, in thirty years we may be watching documentaries [about Bolivia] like those we see today about Salvador Allende”- Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

“they attacked us when we reached the bridge, where they ambushed us and began to shoot with automatic machine-guns”

Snipers located in the upper reaches of the trees shot toward the crowd

“It was incredible, but the police only watched and inspected the peasants,” she said, and later added that “when the Prefecture’s attackers came toward us, the police fled.”

“they shot at the children, how they died, with gunshots to the heart, how those children cried, with those machine-guns”

“They threatened us in a deep trench that they opened at three in the morning; the dump trucks from the Department of Roads Services were there”

“We ran for the bush and the gunshots followed them, there was a woman who didn’t know how to swim, with her children, how they cried, ‘Mama, I don’t want them to kill you!’  They had no compassion for us,” said one of the survivors.

I concur with Abiding in Bolivia, the place to be is Machetera, she has translated gallons of reports (from which the above quotes are taken) for us weedy English speakers, the headlines-

Also see Blog From Bolivia (ht2 Inca Kola)

Politicians in the U.S., stuck in dueling tough-guy mode, have ignored the racist attacks and focused on the sideshow of Goldberg’s ousting. GOP Presidential nominee John McCain warned, “…Bolivia’s expulsion of the American ambassador there, reminds us anew of the dangerous trends in our own hemisphere.” Democratic nominee Barak Obama issued a similar declaration through a campaign spokeswoman. “Obama is encouraging President Morales to reconsider his current path for the good of Bolivia, its people, and its future relationship with the United States.” Two key members of Congress have called for an end to a Bolivian trade agreement over the Goldberg matter.

Latin American leaders, on the other hand, focused on the central issue at hand – the violence aimed at Morales supporters and the threat to Bolivian democracy. On Monday the Presidents of Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Ecuador and Venezuela (and likely Peru and Uruguay as well) will join Morales at an emergency summit in Chile to offer him their strong backing. Even staunch Bush ally, Colombian President Uribe, has rallied to Morales’ side.

The meeting was called by Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez. A Buenos Aires daily quoted her linking the attacks against Morales with one of the bloodiest memories in the region’s recent history.

“If we don’t act now, in thirty years we may be watching documentaries [about Bolivia] like those we see today about Salvador Allende [the democratically-elected President of Chile ousted by Pinochet in 1973].

Word.

Fascism Rising

As Frank Sidebottom would sing ‘it is, it really is.’ First of all the Homeland, Larisa Alexandrovna is in DC and at her hotel a ‘Values voter’ shindig is also going on, go to Atlargely for more (&pics of the Obama Waffles) but a snippet or two-

As you can see, it shows an image of Obama as a turbaned “Osama” and the text in the red box says “Point the box toward Mecca for tastier waffles.”

I asked the “chef” of this ugly version of reality if he was at all concerned that this might be viewed as a white man putting a black man into a frying pan and he laughed and said “I hope so.”

I sat down to look at the waffle box near the deli outside of the exhibit and I overheard two women discussing the notion – frightening to them – that if Obama were to become president there would be more black babies in America.

And right behind these two fine twisted sisters were a group of older men discussing that this election should be treated (and I wrote this down) “as nothing short of WWII” and that “liberal fascism had to be defeated the way [the US] defeated Hitler.”

But check this, other journo’s were their keeping a low profile, business…(or pleasure for some?)-

I saw one journalist (although I was undercover so I could watch and listen without being followed as the others were) visibly as shaken as I was. I won’t name him, but he was calling in a story to his editor over the phone and what became clear is that he overheard the black baby conversation and ran out as upset as I was. I saw Lou Dobbs, but he was simply making the rounds. I also saw Mike Allen of Politico,

So we’ll see stories about this from Dobbs and Allen, yeah? For the sharp end of this reality there is extermination-

On August 8th our company executed a 10-year-old boy. We shot him in the back with a full magazine M-16. Approximately August 16th to August 20th – I’m not sure of the date – a man was taken out of his hootch sleeping, was put into a cave, and he was used for target practice by a lieutenant, the same lieutenant who had ordered the boy killed. Now they used him for target practice with an M-60, an M-16, and a 45.

The US backed action in Bolivia in this translated bulletin-

The Bolivian government communicated today to the national and international community that a civil coup has been put into action in the departmental capital city of Santa Cruz, led by the President of the Civic Committee, Branco Marinkovic, and supported by Prefect Ruben Costas. The national government will not respond to “provocations by fascist groups” and will defend democracy and national unity without declaring a state of emergency in the convulsed regions.

The government denounced several times in the last few weeks that there were preparations for violent protests with internal and external support. Today the predicted events materialized and began a “civic prefectural coup against the unity of the country and democracy,” said the government minister Alfredo Rada.

Students and activists of the [neo-fascist] group the Santa Cruz Youth Union (UCJ) and shock groups of thugs paid by the business-led civic movement from Santa Cruz attacked on Tuesday offices of Internal Revenue, the National Institute of  Land Reform (INRA) and the National Company of Telecommunications (ENTEL).

More @ SU. Also they update on the case of Ayodeji Omotade, upstanding citizen, good Samaritan who was arrested with British Airways (virtually a corporate arm of the state) complicity and faces a trial next week-

“The man, who was thought to be about 30, was being held down in his seat by four or five police officers as the other passengers filed on board, and was crying out in broken English that he was afraid he would die if he were sent back to Nigeria.  The officers took him off the plane, then returned and arrested Ayodeji Omotade, one of the passengers who had complained about his treatment. When others on board protested noisily about Mr Omotade’s detention, the captain ordered them all off the flight. The only person who eventually flew economy class on flight BA0075 was the unidentified deportee who did not want to go.”

Lots of ways to support him at his trial check the SU post or go to respectnigerians.com , here’s hoping like the Greenpeace and Raytheon 9 acquittals this allows a jury of peers to show the state we are not as tyrannical as they are or wish us to be. The vote of a jury might be the last true democratic choice people have (ie it has real power). And Dave writes more about the case of Habib Khan and the BBC quoting BNP talking points and I’ve just read the original trial report and it is shocking they extensively quote a BNP councillor as if he was from a legitimate political party, or is that now BBC policy to treat the BNP as just a regular party? The piece ends with Khan’s lawyer remarking-

Khan’s barrister, Simon Drew, said police investigations into the various incidents often “came to nothing” because of “generous failures by the system”.

‘various incidents‘- That is racist attacks by both the dead man (a BNP ‘activist’, father of seven and personal friend of BNP leader Griffin) and his son. It’s arguable that the response of the police while useful for white racists (generally allowing them to get away with their ‘activism’ and the only conclusion is some police sympathise with them) allowed the dispute to ferment and led to the death, and now the BNP are enthusiastically capitalising on the case. Which is a somewhat morbid strategy for its members.

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Malice Aforethought

The RNC created a precedent by having an insurance policy against cases of police brutality, that is how the corporatist crypto-facist Republican establishment work, they expect it (because they drew up the battle plans) and a corporation makes profit from a policy to protect criminal activity by security forces.

The deal required the Republican Party’s host committee to buy insurance covering up to $10 million in damages and unlimited legal costs for law enforcement officials accused of brutality, violating civil rights and other misconduct.

The Brown Shirt- Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, they have fronting their Green Zone operation is, it turns out, a desperate man under investigation for serious corruption. He gave his best man a badge and a gun, he acted like a cop in an elite unit and was used as an ‘informant’ for search warrants even though he had no knowledge on which to inform. The protesters were herded onto a bridge then told they were under arrest because Fletcher claimed he had revoked their permit, (unilaterally, and…the permits weren’t revoked), then huge bail set, time limits on incarceration ignored as protesters were imprisoned in huge military guarded citadel Green Zone prison. More detail here.

Meanwhile, nevermind the trees. The forest: George W.Bush -the son of the former head of the CIA George Bush, who held high office for 12 years, 4 of them as President whose father backed the Nazi party during WW2 and plotted a facist coup– got to power in a coup cemented by the state his brother ran and a court with a conservative partisan majority. Warned of attacks before 9/11 they did nothing, well ok, George went fishing. Wars of aggression killing over a million and making over 6 million refugees continue, some remain below public perception such as Somalia. Torture, mass surveillance & imprisonment without trial are practised, the normal legal protections afforded constitutionally have been suspended under various acts and ‘signing statements‘. The Homeland Security agency in the guise of ICE are killing people in detention centres to terrorise migrants into obedience, the ruling party selects racist sales people incompetent at the job and demonstrably corrupt to front their election campaign while maintaining their grip on the mechanics of the election and the law. At their conference they demonstrate they will use pre-planned violence and subvert the law to control dissent and the media. The country while spending more than the rest of the Earth combined on the military with around 1,000 bases in over 100 countries is portrayed as a victim by ultra nationalist supporters who claim a divine justification to their wars of dominion. And the gap between rich and poor grows.

Flash Grenades & Teargas Used on RNC Anti-War March

The AP (boo hiss) report

Mounted police blocked a bridge Thursday as hundreds of anti-war protesters tried to march from the state Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center where Sen. John McCain was due to accept the GOP nomination for president. After about an hourlong standoff, they retreated to find another way to the convention site. But police also had blocked major roads to the Xcel Center. Police blocked the bridge, which runs over Interstate 94 about a quarter-mile from the convention site, after the protesters’ march permit had expired.

But thanks to Identity Check there is this Twitter feed some bits-

PDX IMC: 100+ people on marion bridge detained, plastic handcuffed face down, 1 by 1 being loaded up Cops:”If on bridge, not going home”

if you’re hurt, look for medic with red cross, they have antacid spray.

wcco.com is going to have raw video of the flash bangs and tear gas

From WCCO

Several people were being arrested as officers closed in on groups, took some into custody then swirled around other pockets of people roaming the streets while Senator John McCain accepted his party’s nomination for president nearby.

Dave Dubya says Gott Mit Uns! Indeed the GOP are demonstrating they are the party of a crypto-fascist God.

Fascists’ War On Nipples

 

La Verità svelata dal Tempo

La Verità svelata dal Tempo by Giambattista Tiepolo

 

As well as codifying in law discrimination against the Roma and his supporters open celebration of Mussolini, Berlusconi is fighting that most dangerous of enemies to the fascist- beauty!-

The painting depicts “The Truth Unveiled by Time,” and the original is in the Palazzo Chiericati in Vicenza, which houses the civic museum. A few years ago Berlusconi saw the work, liked it and asked for a digital copy that was later blown up, said Alessandra Bertuzzo-Lomazzi, a manager there. The painting became the backdrop for news conferences this year after Berlusconi became prime minister for the third time.

It was retouched in recent weeks to cover an exposed breast, which “might have upset the sensitivity of some viewers,” Paolo Bonaiuti, the prime minister’s spokesman, told the Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera over the weekend. “That breast, that little nipple, ends up right in the shots that TVs make during press conferences,” Bonaiuti said.

Much like the Bush regime who covered a statue’s breasts while they worked on codifying torture into law. What so scares them about the human form depicted artistically? (although fare dues the painting is a bit rubbish such is Berlusconi’s lamentable taste). Is it because they prefer to see the human body like this-

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Italy Dammit 2!

An Italian court has found 15 officials guilty of mistreating protesters following violent protests at the G8 meeting in the city of Genoa in 2001. A judge handed down prison sentences ranging from five months to five years to the accused – who include police, prison officials and two doctors.
Another 30 defendants were cleared of charges including assault.

Protesters said they were beaten after being strip-searched by police. The prosecution said they were tortured. All of those convicted are expected to appeal against the guilty verdicts. The BBC’s David Willey in Rome says it is unlikely that any of those sentenced will actually serve time in prison because their offences will have expired under Italy’s statute of limitations before the appeal process is completed. However, the Italian government will be forced to pay out millions of pounds to those who were victims of police brutality during their detention.

Scores of people were arrested during the raid and taken to a temporary prison camp outside Genoa, at Bolzaneto. Among them were protesters from Italy, Britain, Poland and Ireland. Prosecutors said those arrested were beaten, made to sing fascist songs, and that some women were stripped naked, had their heads shaved and were threatened with rape.

Mark Covell’s -one of the detained- experience-

“The first eight of them attacked me as I shouted “Prensa! Prensa! (Journalist!)” One of them said to me in English ‘You are Black Bloc and we’re going to kill Black Bloc.

“They didn’t ask me any questions or try to handcuff me or anything. I wasn’t resisting arrest, even if I could have done against eight six-foot coppers kitted out in the latest riot kit.

‘I was used as a football’

“I fell to the floor after being batoned around the kneecaps. They kicked me in the spine and I was used as a football. Eight of my ribs were broken. One lung was shredded, not punctured but shredded.

“I had two bones broken in my left hand and a vein twisted around my spine.

“I lay on the floor for a while and then more police came along. One hit me in the back of the head with a baton and another one kicked me in the face, which is when I lost my 10 front teeth.”

At this point Mr Covell passed out. He spent the next 14 hours unconscious and when he woke up he was in hospital but under police guard being treated like a dangerous criminal.

Video interview here.

This was not a few bad apples,this was not simply brutality, this was fascists with the state authority of Italy running a temporary torture camp to terrorise protesters. And what does that really tell us about the G8? Now Italy is emerging shamelessly into full fascist mode. But the truth is thanks in part to our meddling it never really shrugged it off and now it is taking control. The extent to which neoliberalism is comfortable with authoritarian systems is a matter of record, what those pushing it claim- that it and democracy are allied if not interchangeable- is a sales pitch, for Europe, Italy might be serving as an early indicator of authoritarian capitalism, although each G8 member will slide into it in its own idiosyncratic ways. For Britain fear of crime and the ‘better safe than sorry’ justification for surveillance and loss of liberty are working well, along with the usual Terror!!! suspect-

A central database holding details of everyone’s phone calls and emails could be a “step too far for the British way of life”, ministers have been warned. Plans for such a database are rumoured to be in the Communications Data Bill. But Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said “lines must be drawn” to defend “fundamental liberties”. The government says the growth of the internet means changes must be made to the way communications are intercepted in order to combat terrorism and crime.

Fascist Regime Seeking Nuclear Technology

But as it’s Italy 1. Hey no big deal. 2. Their statement it is for civil power is completely accepted at face value, I mean it’s not like they’re y’know, swarthy Muslim types hoarding our oil beneath their untrustworthy feet, yes much better to be friends with FASCISTS, I mean what could possibly go wrong?

(AGI) – Roma, 22 May – ‘Confindustria’ (Italian association of businessmen) intends to work alongside the government in order to “realise the reforms needed”

Maybe we could learn to love these neo-fascists like some Italian Jews did. And by the -fucking- way, guess who bankrolled fascists terrorists (many your actual former Nazi war criminals) for decades in Italy, I’ll give you a clue it rhymes with >Smitten & the You Blighted Rates of A Merry Car< Glad(io) I mentioned that now ain’tchu? I mean it’s not like they have already started on the gypsy’s is it? Oh wait hang on…

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Techno Lynch Mob

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — A defense lawyer lets slip at the war court convening here that a battlefield commander changed an Afghanistan firefight report in a way that seemed to help a U.S. government murder case. Reporters hear the field commander’s name but are forbidden to report it.

In another case, a judge approves the release of a captive’s interrogation video showing the blurred face of an American agent. But a federal prosecutor on loan to the Pentagon withholds it “out of an abundance of caution.”

Even as the U.S. government edges toward full-blown, war-crimes trials by military commission here, with more hearings next week, all sides are grappling with what information can be made public and what must be kept secret.

Consider: A new courtroom here sequesters Pentagon-approved spectators behind a soundproofed window. If a terror suspect tries to shout about his treatment in U.S. custody, a military censor can mute the audio feed that observers hear.

Under rules that protect interrogation techniques, the Pentagon’s war court won’t let the reputed 9/11 architect, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, say he was waterboarded — something the CIA director, Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, confirmed on Feb. 5.

Reporters and other observers must agree to a series of regulations that have no counterpart in the civilian court system. Journalists are forbidden, for example, to report anything uttered in court that a Pentagon security officer declares “protected information.”

Under the system, the Pentagon says the Office of Military Commissions — not the judge — has the last word on what the public can see. 

To call these things a ‘trial’ is akin to calling torture ‘enhanced interrogation’, oh… they already did that. The abyss is certainly staring back hard. Good German style Mushroom Soup.

Chosen

Bush chooses torture and actively defends its use (with lies, illogic and obfuscation as befits a fascist of low intelligence) and thanks the torturers-

President Bush: “The fact that we have not been attacked over the past six-and-a-half years is not a matter of chance. It is the result of good policies and the determined efforts of individuals carrying them out. We owe these individuals our thanks, and we owe them the authorities they need to do their jobs effectively. We have no higher responsibility than stopping terrorist attacks. And this is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe.”

The UK government chooses to steal the money meant to save lives to fund warfare-

Money set aside to clear landmines and remove arms from conflict zones is t  be raided to pay a private defence contractor to keep Tornado jets flying i  Iraq, according to a confidential memo seen by the Guardian. The Ministry o  Defence plans to pay BAE Systems from the multimillion-pound Conflict Preventio  Fund – which covers projects such as destroying weapons in Bosnia and landmine  in Mozambique – to subsidise the £5m-£10m cost of servicing each of the six planes.

 The memo acknowledges there will be anger about the decision, which will attract “adverse comment from the unions”. It adds: “Defensive news briefs are being developed to counter adverse media comment.” (ht2 Chicken Yoghurt)

And corporate media chooses to portray a Presidential candidate who has enabled torture to pretend he is against it-

But another Senator McCain was on display this week, one who seemed to differ from the former prisoner of war who has made his signature issue out of opposing torture tactics by American interrogators. McCain voted against the bill to ban tactics such as waterboarding, saying he felt agencies like the CIA needed flexibility in terror investigations. Why has this received so little media attention? 

None of these decisions were taken in desperation, no mitigating facts cushion these acts of evil. These are wealthy powerful people & institutions choosing to do terrible things. And to help you choose to help them, sit back, relax, be entertained.

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Dirty War Scumbag To Face Trial

Spain has agreed to extradite a former Argentine navy officer accused of torturing and killing thousands of dissidents during Argentina’s so-called Dirty War. Ricardo Miguel Cavallo was arrested in Mexico in 2000 and extradited to Spain in 2003 on genocide and terrorism charges.

Now then Cavallo, what a lovely man he is, let’s count the ways-

The former naval officer was known as “Serpico” (for his resemblance to Al Pacino) when he worked at the Navy Mechanics School–often called the “Argentine Auschwitz” or the “Harvard of Death” — where he was famous both for executing and teaching the art of torture.

According to the indictment issued by the Spanish Court, Ricardo Miguel Cavallo, also known by the pseudonyms “Miguel Angel Cavallo,” “Serpico,” or “Marcelo,” was part of ESMA’s Task Group 3.3.2. The procedures used by ESMA Task Group 3.3.2 included, among others, kidnapping specific targets, torture, murder, disappearances, servitude, and selection of prisoners for “recovery,” a practice designed to recruit persons thought to have betrayed their former friends. These recruits were intended to form the base of a political party to launch Admiral Massera’s political ambitions. Cavallo served in the intelligence sector of ESMA from 1976 until early 1979, when he became responsible for kidnapped people who were in the process of “recovery.” According to the indictment and survivors, Cavallo was a “Capitan de Corbeta,” a relatively high-ranking position in ESMA, ultimately under Massera’s command. Cavallo, in addition to committing torture himself, made operational decisions such as identifying targets for torture. He also contributed to the decisions of his superiors regarding the final disposition of the victims.

According to Judge Garzón, Ricardo Miguel Cavallo is accused of having participated in 227 kidnappings and acts of torture concerning 110 people, as well as in the kidnapping of 16 babies who had been removed from their mothers who were in prison. The Judge’s investigation also mentions the cases of 248 individuals who had been arrested, detained and finally freed.

Now then about that Al Pacino thing:-

20030630elpepipor_1.jpg47ba16ec9cdd3.jpg

Um, not seeing it myself, maybe when he was younger he was not such a pasty, pig-eyed, sack of -torturing- shit. And in case you forget let Chalmers Johnson remind you of US involvement and support of the torture regimes.

It is said that dead men tell no tales, but in Latin America they are speaking with exceptional clarity– revealing the sordid details of U.S. Cold War foreign policy toward the area. In 1992, in AsunciÑn, Paraguay, a survivor of the regime of former dictator Gen. Alfredo Stroessner stumbled on five tons of reports and photographs left over from Operation Condor. This was the cooperative effort from 1975 on among military and police officials of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia to identify, torture, and kill as many representatives of workers and advocates of democracy as they could find.

The “methods” that the CIA contends are too delicate to reveal to the American public are its routine practice of turning over the names of people it wants executed to military and police authorities that it has trained and helped put in power. It can then pretend that it had nothing to do with their subsequent deaths, even expressing shock and disappointment at the excesses of its former pupils. This was the pattern of American operations in Indonesia from Gen. Suharto’s rise to power in 1965 to the American refusal in the autumn of 1999 to get involved in rescuing the victims of Indonesian army terror in East Timor.34 The CIA employed these same methods in bringing Pinochet to power and in its relations with Operation Condor.

Israeli Minister Threatens Holocaust Against Gazans

As reported in lots of places-

“The more Qassam (rocket) fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they (the Palestinians) will bring upon themselves a bigger holocaust because we will use all our might to defend ourselves,” Vilnai told Army Radio. 

It appears the Israeli government is preparing for a major attack on Gaza-

Israel would not launch a ground offensive in the next week or two, partly because the military would prefer to wait for better weather, defence sources said. But the army had completed its preparations and was awaiting the government’s order to move, officials said.

There were further indications that Israel was preparing for an offensive by sending confidential messages to world leaders, including the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, who plans to visit the region next week.

“Israel is not keen on, and rushing for, an offensive, but Hamas is leaving us no choice,” the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, told the senior figures, according to Israel’s mass circulation daily, Yedioth Ahronoth.

Security sources were quoted by both Israel Radio and army radio as saying a big operation was being prepared but was not imminent.

They are most likely watching this-Egypt is working on a plan with the Palestinians to supply all the besieged Gaza Strip’s electricity needs and wean it off its reliance on Israel for power– they will not want to attack a fully powered Gaza. This could be averted if genuine talks occurred that included Hamas, or… expect a slaughter as the circle is closed and the abused becomes the abuser. America won’t stop it nor are they a credible broker, internal opposition is the only hope the extremists will be stopped. Israel stops the siege & attacks, Hamas stops the rocket attacks. Pause, talks.

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Boeing’s Torture Airways Protected From Justice By CIA

(Reuters) – A federal judge, saying the case involved a state secret, dismissed a lawsuit on Wednesday against a unit of Boeing Co that charged the firm helped fly terrorism suspects abroad to secret prisons. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint in May accusing Jeppesen Dataplan Inc of providing flight and logistical support to the U.S. government with at least 15 aircraft on 70 “extraordinary-rendition” flights.

“In sum, at the core of plaintiffs’ case against Defendant Jeppesen are ‘allegations’ of covert U.S. military or CIA operations in foreign countries against foreign nationals – clearly a subject matter which is a state secret,” Judge James Ware wrote in a ruling issued on Wednesday evening.

The government argued the case should be dismissed because they could not confirm details of the operations. Those details “include whether any private entities or other countries assisted the CIA in conducting the program; the dates and locations of any detentions and interrogations; the methods of interrogation employed in the program; and the names of any individuals detained and interrogated by the CIA (other than fifteen individuals whose identities have been divulged so that they can be brought to trial),” the U.S. government said in its filing last year.

The judge mentioned he had reviewed a classified declaration from Michael Hayden, director of the CIA, in its assessment of the case. “The Court’s review of General Hayden’s public and classified declarations confirm that proceeding with this case would jeopardize national security and foreign relations and that no protective procedure can salvage this case,” Ware wrote.

‘could not’? Would not. Much like the telecoms immunity the government and corporations act together to protect each other in their ongoing war of terror, gaining control and profit. If only there were a word for that…Of course the courts are complicit in this, so justice might need to find extra judicial avenues to express itself in the widening gyre.

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Drumhead Execution Of The “terrorism-era” & Meet Infragard

The Pentagon has charged six detainees at Guantanamo Bay with murder and war crimes in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, it was announced Monday. Officials said they’ll seek the death penalty in what would be the first trials under the terrorism-era military tribunal system.

And I hear ‘interrogation techniques’ in media reports in relation to this. This is truly a dangerous journey, torture has now become ‘interrogation techniques’, a military kangaroo court with no standing in law is looking to execute prisoners who have been tortured for years. This isn’t about what they may or may not have done or even the limited politics allowed within the corporate mainstream, this is bare bones basic principles of a just and civilised democracy. But that maybe that is just a distant image in the rear view mirror, meet Infragard-

More than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly in collaboration with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, this according to an exclusive report in The Progressive magazine. The business leaders form a group known as InfraGard that receives warnings of terrorist threats directly from the FBI before the public does. In return, they provide information to the government. According to one whistleblower, the FBI has given members of InfraGard permission to shoot to kill in the event of martial law.  

“There is evidence that InfraGard may be closer to a corporate TIPS program, turning private-sector corporations—some of which may be in a position to observe the activities of millions of individual customers—into surrogate eyes and ears for the FBI,” the ACLU warned in its August 2004 report The Surveillance-Industrial Complex: How the American Government Is Conscripting Businesses and Individuals in the Construction of a Surveillance Society. 

The revelations about Infragard came about from a whistle-blower tip to Lee Rayburn’s radio program, I want to mention that as I have enjoyed his shows when I’ve caught them and he deserves a regular national platform. We should not doubt the importance of countering right wing media in the empire’s homeland.

Troops As Imperial Props

British soldiers may be encouraged to wear their uniforms while off-duty in an attempt to boost their popularity with the general public. The possible move is part of an ongoing review into how best to improve the public’s perception of the military.

Returning British soldiers have been met with mixed reactions from a public that does not whole-heartedly support the country’s involvement in the Iraq war. The MoD spokesman said the review is an attempt to find a way to ensure the armed forces are better appreciated and understood by the general public.

Er no, it’s to further use them to promote government policy. And no, I will not blindly respect the military or someone who has knowingly volunteered their labour to commit a war crime, that is not all troops, but let’s stop putting halos on camouflage, some are in it for the violence and the power. Many got used because they were already in, many (perhaps most) are used as Yoshie posted

“He didn’t have to go to Iraq. He chose to go. He wanted to be with his brothers.” These are the words of the clearly distraught and heartbroken mother of Thomas, a marine recently killed in Iraq, describing her son’s fatal decision to extend his enlistment in order to deploy with his unit. Of course, his family tried to convince him otherwise, but Thomas was adamant that “abandoning” his comrades as they headed into harm’s way was not an option. . . . We fight, then, neither to achieve victory nor to kill an “enemy.” We fight and, like Thomas, we die, because we love and could not live with the guilt and the shame of abandoning our brothers. (Camillo Mac Bica, “The Brotherhood of Warriors: The Love That Binds Us” MRZine, 19 March 2007)

In other words, the ruling class grasp what is best and noblest in men, their love for one another; mutilate it by excluding the Other — enemy soldiers and civilians and homosexuals in their own ranks, for instance — from men’s love; and exploit it for their profit.

I have sympathy for them but by 2004 the lies and slaughter were very obvious, at that point if you signed up you are supporting the crime with deadly force, it’s time to think about that. As Nezua wrote You Forge Of Yourself A Dull Weapon. The elevation of military service to the level of some kind of saintly calling by venal politicians is a very familiar characteristic of fascism.

The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

Need help: War Resisters International

If you have a sincere religious, political or moral objection to the war on Iraq, or to any other campaign, then you are legally entitled to an honourable discharge as a conscientious objector.
The procedure can be prolonged and difficult. You are advised to contact the AT EASE helpine for further advice on a Sunday 5pm-7pm. 0207 247 5164
Email: atease -at- advisory.freeserve.co.uk
(replace -at- with @ and remove spaces)
Your first step is a letter to your Commanding Officer stating your position.

Update: Worshipping Empty Uniforms podcast from Ruins of Empire.

Torture Event Horizon

I’m trying to get back into the swing of being an info freako and getting back up to speed on all that stuff happening on this earth planet-y thing. Certainly the Siege of Gaza is looming large in my thoughts and I think that will dominate the rest of the week for me, but… Just quickly something very, very fucking sick is happening. Reality TV began it, where sadistic voyeurism was encouraged and rewarded in viewers, now the once good BBC science program ‘Horizon’ is indulging the death penalty and torture. I saw a piece in the Radio Times with former Tory proto-fascist Michael Portoillo talking about his edition which sought to see if there was humane way to execute people, bearing in mind this is a person in favour of the death penalty. Korova rightly called this out-

Besides, as I said above, the terms ‘humane’ and ‘execution’ do not even belong in the same breath. Quite frankly, I find it deeply offensive to find a programme on the BBC that suggests that execution is acceptable and we just need to seek out a ‘humane’ way of doing it.
The BBC – supporting the executioner.

Now Horizon is doing a show on sensory deprivation (with a celebrity comedian!), a well researched torture technique, they innocently claim it to be about- what does it do to a person? There is no shortage of literature on the subject (will they quote from the CIA’s torture manuals I wonder?) and even if they suppose this program demonstrates what an effective ‘interrogation’ technique it is for making people say what you want them to say and acts as a warning, to ask the question is to presuppose there is real debate about this method of torture. There is none, only war criminals are pretending it’s an open question (and the American Psychological Association, which I guess makes them liable too), this is realtime education in exactly how societies perpetrate great evils, hope the producers are proud. It is also no coincidence that the series is increasingly funded in conjunction with an American broadcaster, this has been going a while and it has lead to lighter weight less demanding programs paced to take advantage of commercial breaks. In short Horizon has been going downhill for a while and now it is playing the Alan Dershowitz game of saying how awful something is, but if you wanted to do it, here’s how. A nadir if you will of ratings grabbing stunts replacing serious scientific documentary making and now more sinisterly it is part of the false debate on torture, marked by its newspeak use of the term ‘interrogation’. In fact what it most reminds me of is intelligent design advocates claiming there is huge debate (or as they say ‘controversial’ to connote any issue where the facts are known but they conflict with powerful groups intentions), which is ironic for a science program, oh except, is that going to be their next show?

Play the fucking music-

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